The old schoolhouse and the ball-game court
When people refer to the old schoolhouse in Crupet, they are referring to this fine sandstone and limestone building, which bears the clearly visible date 1863.
In 1855, the decision was taken to build a new school which would be spacious enough to take a hundred pupils. The school building was also designed to accommodate the village hall and the teacher’s lodgings.
The school closed down in 1972 and has become the village’s functions room. Across the road is the ball-game court. In many parts of Belgium and France, la balle pelote was the most popular sport of the inter-war period, and especially directly after the Second World War. La balle pelote is the product of a long tradition of a game known as la balle au tamis, which in turn is the remote descendant of the game of jeu de paume, from which real tennis also derived. In Crupet, it started to be played in earnest in 1925, in the square in front of the church in friendly matches and during fairs.
During the war, friendly matches were organised to raise money in support of prisoners. In view of the success of these, a new court was built at a more suitable location, away from traffic, opposite the schoolhouse. Up until the 1990s, several hundred spectators would regularly attend matches, and the average attendance figure during the 1993-1994 season was 640. In 2010, a balle pelote team still exists in Crupet, and matches are held during the summer.
L’ancienne école et la place du jeu de balle